Mothers of Twins and Triplets not Receiving Requisite Care According to Report

A report from the Twins and Multiple Births Association and the National Childbirth Trust suggests that women expecting twins are triplets are suffering from relatively poor care.

The organisations conducting the report surveyed 1,400 such parents from all over the UK.

They found that the South East and West Midlands are particularly poorly served in this department, while women expecting wins or triplets in the north-east received the best care in the country.

The report also found that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on antenatal care had not been adequately implemented.

One of the undesirable results of this was that access to specialist care was severely limited in some regions of the country.

The latest figures indicate that stillbirth rates for multiple births rose by 13.6 per cent between 2013 and 2014.

Meanwhile, multiple pregnancies in fact account for around 3 per cent of all births in the United Kingdom.

Yes the risks associated with women giving birth to twins or triplets are significantly higher than for usual pregnancies.

Such babies have a significantly higher neonatal death rates, while the chances of poor health and disability after birth are also significantly increased.

NICE introduced guidance for multiple pregnancies in 2011 and quality standards in 2013.

Commenting on the results of the research, Keith Reed, chief executive of the Twins and Multiple Births Association, suggested that the existing situation reflects rather poorly on healthcare services.

“This report paints a bleak picture with shocking variations in the standard of multiple-pregnancy care across the country. The NHS England maternity review needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency to prevent babies’ lives being put at risk.”

In addition, Louise Silverton, director for midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, concurred with these sentiments, stating that the findings of the report should be considered particularly worrying.

“It is crucial that we find out why this is happening and take steps to address it. The fact that so few trusts are implementing the guidelines is also a real concern. The guidelines are there for a reason and trusts should be using them.”

Responding to the report, a spokeswoman from NHS England indicated that there would be a direct reaction to the review.

NHS England indeed intends to “assess how best we can respond to England’s growing birth rate and the need for safe and flexible services which are tailored to the needs of women, babies and their families”.

About one in three of the women surveyed said they did not see a named specialist obstetrician, while only 20 per cent saw a specialist midwife and 28 per cent saw a specialist sonographer.

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